New Insights That May Make You Rethink How You Recruit Millennials

August 2, 2016

Just when we think we have Millennials all figured out, they surprise us. Recently, we surveyed over 13,300 of them to find out how they approach job seeking -- what attracts them to a job, what stops them from applying, and what gets them to accept an offer. (Reminder: Millennials are the individuals born between the early 80s and late 90s who we can’t seem to stop talking about.)

While some of our findings align with what we already know about Millennials, you may be surprised to learn how they really feel about purpose-driven work, how employer branding isn't resonating with them, and more. Read on:

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Let’s take a closer look at these insights…

Millennials are more active and eager for job opportunities than previous generations

The majority of Millennials (93% to be specific) are interested in hearing about job opportunities and 66% are interested in talking to a recruiter. And what’s more: 30% of them see themselves working for less then a year at their current company, compared to 21% for Gen X and 17% for Baby Boomers, who would prefer to stick around longer. In other words, they aren’t attached to their current roles and are hungry for new experiences.

When they decide to look for a new job, referrals are still the number one resource Millennials use. However, this is followed closely by third party websites and job boards as well as social professional networks like LinkedIn. In fact, Millennial’s derive the most value from LinkedIn compared to previous generations, with 64% of them saying it has had a positive impact on their career. Social media is also a go to for Millennials, with 1 out of 3 saying they have used it to find a job.

This means that if you want to get your job opportunities in front of Millennials (and we already know they want to hear about them) you need to focus on the channels they use. And, your employees aren't only a great resource for traditional referrals – they can help you reach Millennial prospects on social media as well.

To incentivize employees to do this, Booking.com uses technology where if an employee posts a job on social media and someone in their network clicks through and applies, the employee will get credit for it. This makes it easy for employees to refer, and reaches Millennials on the social channels they love.

Companies’ current employer branding efforts aren’t resonating with Millennials

While Millennials are eager to learn about opportunities, they are less likely to know about a company than previous generations. 24% of Millennials report they didn’t know about a company when hearing about a job opportunity, compared to 18% for Gen X and 16% of Baby Boomers.

And this is a big problem, as not knowing about a company is the #1 barrier to millennials not taking a job, followed by not understanding the role and difficulty negotiating.

This means that companies need to refine their messaging to reach millennials and make themselves more attractive as a workplace. And, communicating this messaging across all channels – especially on social media – is essential, as Millennials are more likely to follow you on social compared to other generations.

So, what should you be sharing to make your employer brand grab Millennials attenion? It turns out that the #1 thing they are looking to learn more about is your company culture and values, so sharing more about these qualities is a good place to start.

A great example of a company that shook up their employer branding to attract millennials is SAP. They did this by redesigning their careers site to be more mobile friendly and uploading a wide range of videos telling compelling stories from real employees. They also created an Instagram account called @LifeasSAP to show what’s it’s really like to work there and shared these messages across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube. This is the perfect way to share what matters to Millennials on platforms that already frequent.

Breaking news: Millennials aren’t as purpose driven as we thought

We’ve all been under the impression that Millennials are all about the greater good and purpose. However, our research reveals this isn’t exactly true. That isn’t to say they don’t care – they just care less then other generations, especially Baby Boomers. While 48% or Baby Boomers and 38% of Gen X report the belief that work should be purpose-driven, only 30% of Millennials say the same.

So, what do they really care about? As metioned, company culture and values comes first. But this is closely followed by 2) perks and benefits and 3) employee perspectives of the company. In fact, the #1 reason millennials accept a new job is because of better compensation and benefits. This means things like a flexible work schedules, free lunch, and other perks are a big deal. In fact, according Antonia Cusamano, who leads PwC’s people and change business in their technology sector, “Flexibility [at work] is almost as important as salary” for Millennials.

While you might not be able to provide perks like in-office concerts or “puppytoriums” like some companies, communicate the perks and benefits that you do offer along with your company values and employee prespectives. For Millennials, this is all critical information in their decision to work for you or not. 

To learn more about what talent is experiencing and what they want to know during the job-seeking process, download our free 2016 Talent Trends report.

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